Portcullis (Period)

Portcullis (Period)

A portcullis is a heavy metal grille, used to bar the gateway of a castle.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Fyschcok, c.1480 [RH], but more famous as the badge of Beaufort, 1449, from whom the Tudor kings inherited it [Parker 473; HB 143, 111].

In period, English emblazons showed the portcullis with its chains on either side, hanging to base (as in the illustration); these need not be blazoned.  There are some examples in Continental heraldry of chainless portcullises, such as the arms of Hessen zu Wigdorf, 1605 [Siebmacher 136]; chainless portcullises in Society armory should be explicitly blazoned.

For related charges, see gate, rastrillo.  See also door, drawbridge, gridiron, strike.

Ernst of the Gate bears:  Per pale Or and sable, a portcullis gules.

Alexis Sinclaire bears:  Sable, three portcullises Or.

Almarr of Odder bears:  Azure, three portcullises argent.

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